NCAA Basketball Betting In Colorado

Colorado has embraced legal sports betting. 

If you are at least 21 years or older and inside the Centennial State, you can bet on NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball. Several licensed mobile sports betting apps are live across Colorado.

From futures to moneylines, spreads to totals, parlays and brackets, Colorado sportsbooks offer all kinds of NCAA basketball action.

NCAA basketball futures are available all year round. During college basketball season, you can enjoy a plethora of single-game wagers, which includes March Madness bets.

Home to five NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball teams, including the two-time Final Four participant the University of Colorado Buffs, CO gets behind NCAA basketball as much as any state.

This page is a complete look at how to bet on NCAA basketball online in Colorado. 

We detail the top Colorado sports betting apps and include some NCAA basketball betting secrets. We also cover the best of NCAA basketball history in CO. 

How to bet on the NCAA basketball in Colorado

Single-game sports wagering is now legal in Colorado. We look at the best Colorado sports betting apps you can use to bet on March Madness within state lines.

NCAA basketball betting apps

Provided you are of legal gambling age in Colorado, you can bet on NCAA basketball on your mobile device or desktop computer at legal, regulated mobile sportsbooks.

Mobile betting is the most convenient way to wager on NCAA basketball because you can bet from anywhere.  

Just sign up for an account with a Colorado mobile sportsbook, make a deposit and you’ll be betting on NCAA basketball in no time. The sign-up, deposit, and betting process varies slightly for each Colorado online and mobile sportsbook, but the basics are similar.

1. Sign up for an account

The first thing you must do is sign up for an account at an online sportsbook. Find the “Sign Up,” “Join Now,” or “Register” button on the homepage.

Fill out the required fields with your personal account information. Typically, this includes your:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number
  • Account username
  • Password

If you see a space for a promo code, be sure to fill it in. You can find these bonus codes on PlayColorado. Promo codes ensure you always get the best new player bonuses available.

Finally, confirm that you’ve read the terms and conditions.

Colorado sportsbooks will verify your age using your Social Security number, and use geolocation technology to confirm your location

2. Make a deposit

After signing up for a sportsbook account, you will need to deposit.

Colorado online and mobile sportsbooks ensure this is a smooth process by offering you a variety of deposit methods.

First, log into your account using the credentials you provided at sign up. Then, look for the “Deposit” or “Cashier” tab.

Next, choose the most convenient method of depositing for you. Options include online bank transfers to cash at various locations, credit and debit cards, and online payment processors.

Then, enter the amount you want to deposit and follow the prompts.

Finally, confirm the transaction. 

3. Place an NCAA basketball bet

You can browse through the available NCAA basketball betting markets and click on the one that you want.

Just follow this process to create an NCAA basketball bet slip and wager:

  • Log into your account.
  • Browse through the available NCAA basketball betting markets.
  • Click on a line or lines you like to create a bet slip instantly.
  • Enter the amount you wish to bet to display the potential payout.
  • Check that the displayed bet is correct and click the “Place Bet” button to confirm the wager.

Is it legal to bet on the NCAA basketball in CO?

Yes, it is absolutely legal to bet on NCAA basketball in Colorado.

As long as you are at least 21, inside the state and wager with a licensed Colorado sports betting operator, it is legal. So, this includes licensed retail sportsbooks at Colorado casinos and licensed Colorado sports betting apps that are available statewide.

It started with the US Supreme Court allowing individual states to legalize sports betting in May 2018. Colorado passed legislation legalizing sports betting in November 2019 and launched the state’s first online betting apps in May 2020.

The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission and the Colorado Division of Gaming are in charge of regulating the market. 

The CO Division of Gaming is establishing various rules and licensing standards. The group will issue up to 33 sportsbook licenses to casinos in Black HawkCentral City, and Cripple Creek.

The regulations include ones specific to NCAA basketball, which includes a ban on prop bets for all college-level sports.

However, you can bet moneylinesspreads, and totals on every single NCAA basketball game. Plus, you can legally bet NCAA basketball parlays that include other sports, aka multi-sport parlays. Colorado sportsbooks will also run traditional bracket contests allowing you to bet on the NCAA Tournament as a whole. NCAA basketball futures allow you to wager on which team you think will win the NCAA Championship.

How to bet on NCAA basketball

Outside of traditional March Madness bracket contests and pools, NCAA basketball betting isn’t much different from betting on other team sports.

There are a few ways you can bet on NCAA basketball games or groups of games at Colorado retail sportsbooks and online betting apps. These include:

Moneyline: The moneyline bet is the easiest way to wager on a basketball game. Pick the winner of a game and wager at the currently posted odds. 

Favorites have a negative number that indicates how much you’ll need to bet to win $100 plus your bet back. Underdogs have a positive number that shows how much you’ll earn for every $100 you bet. 

For example, if the Colorado Buffaloes moneyline is at -120, you’ll need to bet $120 to win $100 plus your $120 bet back. If the Buffaloes’ moneyline is at +200, you’ll stand to win $200 for every $100 you bet plus your total bet back.

Spread: NCAA basketball spread bets are like point spread bets in other sports. Pick the winner of a game with the spread set by oddsmakers factored into the final score. 

Spread bets are booked at moneyline odds. Most spread bets are offered at -110 odds, but that is not always the case.

For example, if the Buffaloes spread is at -5.5 (-110), they’ll need to win by at least 6 points for spread bets on them to pay. Furthermore, you’ll need to bet $110 to win $100 plus your wager back. If the Buffaloes spread is at +5.5 (+150), they’ll need to win outright or lose by 5 points for spread bets on them to win. Plus, you’ll win a total of $250 for every $100 you bet.

Totals: Choose whether the total points scored in an NCAA basketball game will be over or under the total score line set by oddsmakers. Totals bets are also booked at moneyline odds.

Parlays: Parlays combine two or more bets into a single wager. Each wager must be correct for the parlay to pay, and the odds are higher than individual wagers. Parlays are a popular way to bet on a slate of NCAA basketball games because of the potential for a big payday.

Live betting: Live or in-play betting allows you to bet on an NCAA basketball game that’s already underway. The odds adjust continuously as the action changes.

How to bet on NCAA basketball tournaments

Essentially, there are three ways you can wager on NCAA conference tournaments: brackets, futures, and game-by-game wagering.

Free or paid bracket contests

Brackets are the traditional way most Americans bet on March Madness.

You fill out the 63-game bracket prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament. You can either pay to enter it into a pool or submit it to a free-to-enter NCAA Tournament bracket contest. Colorado sportsbooks will likely run both.

To achieve a successful bracket, you must pick more game-winners than anyone else who submits a bracket.

NCAA basketball futures

NCAA basketball futures allow you to bet on a particular team to win the NCAA Tournament. 

NCAA basketball futures markets begin during the off-season, and the odds adjust as the season moves forward.

Futures markets eliminate the need to wait for the NCAA Tournament team announcement on Selection Sunday. Just pick the team you think will win the NCAA Tournament and lay some money down on them.

The earlier you place a bet on a favorite, the better the odds are — usually.

Game-by-game bets

Colorado sportsbooks offer individual betting markets on every bit of NCAA basketball action, from regular-season games to every game in the conference tournaments.

Game-by-game betting allows you a certain freedom. Filling out a bracket requires you to pick a winner in every single game. 

Betting game by game will enable you to be more selective and avoid betting games where you might not have all the information required.

Brackets get busted early and futures fizzle out, but you can jump in and out of game-by-game betting.

NCAA regular season, conference tournaments, March Madness

NCAA regular season

Most NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball teams play about 25-35 regular-season games.

The regular season runs from November to early March, after which each conference hosts its tournament to determine a champion.

A team’s record in these games and specifically its record against conference opponents will help determine conference tournament seeding. A team’s regular-season record may also help it secure an at-large March Madness bid.

NCAA teams try to win every regular-season game they can and CO sportsbooks set various lines on most.

Conference tournaments

There are 351 schools in 32 different conferences competing in NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball. 

After the regular season, each conference hosts its tournament to determine a champion in early March.

The winners of each conference tournament receive an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament.

You can bet on every aspect of the conference tournaments, including each game and who will win the title.

March Madness

Once the conference tournaments are through, the NCAA hosts Selection Sunday, where it announces the names and seedings of the 68 teams to play in the NCAA Tournament, which includes the conference tournament champs and 34 at-large bids.

The tournament begins with the First Four. This allows the four lowest-seeded teams to play their way into the first round.

The 64-team NCAA Tournament then begins with the first and second rounds from Thursday to Sunday. The Sweet 16 and Elite Eight are held the next weekend, and the Final Four and national championship game is the weekend after that.

You can bet on every aspect of March Madness, including each game and who will win the championship.

How to watch NCAA basketball in CO

ESPN, ESPNU, ESPN2, FS1, FOX, CBS Sports, and CBS air a variety of NCAA basketball games throughout the regular season.

The PAC-12 Network airs Colorado Buffs games throughout the year and during the PAC-12 Tournament.

All March Madness games are shown live on CBSTNTTBS, and TruTV.

There’s also a March Madness Live app available for Apple and Android devices and most games are streamed live on CBSSports.com.

Colorado NCAA basketball teams

Colorado Buffaloes

The Buffs represent the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the NCAA Division 1 Pac-12 Conference.

The Buffaloes have competed in 14 NCAA Tournaments. Colorado made it to the Final Four in 1942 and again in 1955.

In 2012, its first season in the Pac-12, Colorado won the Pac-12 Tournament and received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

As a No. 6 seed, Colorado was the lowest-seeded team ever to win the Pac-12 Tournament. The Buffaloes lost in the second round of NCAA basketball that year.

The team made the NCAA Tournament in 20132014 and 2016, but lost in the first round each year.

Colorado State Rams

The Colorado State Rams represent Colorado State University in the NCAA Division 1 Mountain West Conference.

Colorado State has appeared in 10 NCAA Tournaments, but have never advanced past the Elite Eight (1969).

The team’s last NCAA basketball appearance was in 2013. The Rams beat Missouri in the first round but lost to Louisville in the second.

Denver Pioneers

The Denver Pioneers represent the University of Denver and compete in the NCAA Division 1 Summit League.

Air Force Falcons

The Falcons represent the US Air Force Academy in the NCAA Division 1 Mountain West Conference.

The Air Force has appeared in four NCAA Tournaments, but they have never won a tournament game. The team’s last NCAA Tournament appearance was in 2006 when they lost to Illinois in the first round.

Northern Colorado Bears

The Northern Colorado Bears represent the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and compete in the NCAA Division 1 Big Sky Conference.

The Bears have appeared in the NCAA Tournament just once. They lost to San Diego State in the first round in 2011.

However, the 2019-20 team had a 22-9 record and were heading into the Big Sky Tournament as a No. 2 seed before it was canceled.

NCAA basketball betting tips

Here’s a look at some solid NCAA basketball betting tips that should help you throughout the regular season, conference tournaments and March Madness:

  1. Follow the team, not the sport: There are 351 Division 1 college basketball teams, making it almost impossible for you to follow them all intimately. Since you can’t possibly make reliable betting decisions for every game on the schedule, pick a team or two and watch them carefully. Gather all the information you can on your teams and make the best-informed bets you can base on that.
  2. Watch basketball: Watch as many games as you can and watch your picks turn into educated guesses. Form opinions based on real data by watching teams and reading box scores.
  3. Don’t pay for free info: You don’t need to pay for information. Take advantage of all the free info out there on the Internet. ESPN, CBS Sports, FOX Sports, and local sports affiliates follow college basketball. Follow them to find summaries, stats, and trends you can use to inform your picks.
  4. Think local: Local basketball beat writers, student newspapers, and local TV/radio stations all follow the region’s teams a lot closer than the national media. These are the places where you’ll find all kinds of valuable inside information you can use to make college basketball picks.
  5. Search for the right situation: Some teams play their best against long-time rivals, and can even upset a nationally ranked team. Look for the kind of situations oddsmakers might miss, Plus, remember, even the best teams in the country are ripe for a let downplaying a day or two after an emotional or close game. Look through a team’s schedule and results to identify the right betting situation.
  6. Follow the money: Opening lines are released days before a game. Pay attention, and if there’s significant movement in a line leading up to the game, you can take advantage of it.
  7. Roll your futures over: If you like a team to win the NCAA Championship, then bet on them in every round and let the winnings ride on the next round. Rolling the wins over will yield a much greater return throughout the tournament than your futures bet.

NCAA Basketball Betting FAQ

How many teams play NCAA Division I Basketball?

There are 351 schools in 32 different conferences competing in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.

How long is the college basketball season?

The NCAA basketball regular season runs from November to early March, with most teams playing anywhere up to 25 games. Each conference then hosts its tournament to determine a champion at the beginning of March.

March Madness runs for three weekends from mid-March to the first week in April, ending the NCAA basketball season.

What happened to the 2019-20 NCAA basketball season?

The 2019-20 NCAA basketball season was canceled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Final Four was set to take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on April 4, 2020, and the championship game on April 6. Most conference tournaments and March Madness were canceled.

Who are the last 10 NCAA basketball champions?

  • 2019: Virginia
  • 2018: Villanova
  • 2017: North Carolina
  • 2016: Villanova
  • 2015: Duke
  • 2014: Connecticut
  • 2013: Louisville*
  • 2012: Kentucky
  • 2011: Connecticut
  • 2010: Duke

*Louisville’s participation in the 2013 NCAA Tournament was vacated on infractions.

Which team has won the most NCAA Championships?

UCLA hasn’t won the NCAA Men’s Division 1 basketball title since 1995. However, with 11 national titles, it still holds the record for the most NCAA championship wins.

Which team has the most Final Four appearances?

The North Carolina Tar Heels have made the Final Four 20 times, the most of any team in NCAA history. From those 20 appearances, North Carolina has won seven championships. The last win came in 2017.

What’s the best strategy for betting on college basketball?

There’s no secret to betting on NCAA basketball. Extensive data simply support the best strategies.

That means the best NCAA basketball betting strategies are built by watching games and consuming as much information as you can about NCAA basketball.

Making informed picks using the knowledge that’s out there is always the best strategy.

What’s the difference between Vegas NCAA basketball lines and Colorado NCAA basketball lines?

There isn’t much. In fact, most of the lines in Vegas and CO sportsbooks are quite similar.

Local betting markets move local lines, so, if there is heavy betting locally it may be enough to move the line at CO sportsbooks, even though sportsbooks in Vegas won’t budge.

What are second-half NCAA lines?

Second-half NCAA lines are new lines that are set at halftime during a game. This allows you to reassess a game based on the first-half action and bet on the performance of the teams in the second half of a game alone.

Can I bet on Colorado NCAA basketball teams?

There is no law prohibiting betting on local college teams and local college games in Colorado.

Keeping all the betting action open and upfront likely does more to prevent corruption and protect the integrity of local college sports than a betting ban ever will.

Where does the NCAA stand on college basketball betting?

The NCAA is not in favor of legal betting on college basketball. Despite no evidence supporting the idea, the NCAA claims sports betting has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports, jeopardize the welfare of student-athletes and the entire intercollegiate athletics community.

Still, college football and NCAA basketball betting generate millions in handle at legal sportsbooks.

The NCAA, sports betting regulators and legal sports betting operators across the country have taken various steps to ensure the integrity of NCAA sports, including a ban on anyone involved with college athletics betting on their sports.